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Headline News 16/05/2020


• Nomination of Iraqi PM al-Kadhimi Revealed to be through US Deal

• America Already Questioning Withdrawal from Afghanistan

• Trump’s Miscalculation Results in Saudi Oil Armada Arriving in US amid Oil Price Crash


Nomination of Iraqi PM al-Kadhimi Revealed to be through US Deal

According to Middle East Eye:

The nomination of Mustafa al-Kadhimi as Iraqi prime minister was the result of a horse trade between the US and Iran in which Tehran agreed to back the former intelligence chief in return for an unfreezing of some of its assets targeted by sanctions, senior Iraqi political sources have told Middle East Eye.

The US policy of exerting "maximum pressure" on Iran will not change, but the US agreed to de-escalate militarily in the Gulf and to "look the other way" if a third-party country in Europe released some of the Iranian money frozen when sanctions were applied, the Iraqi sources said.

As recently as 4 March, Kadhimi's candidacy for the premiership was called a “declaration of war on the Iraqi people” by the top commander of the pro-Iranian Kataib Hezbollah militia, Abu Ali al-Askari.

Askari accused Kadhimi of involvement in the US drone strikes in January which killed top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani and influential militia leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, a charge explicitly denied by Iraq’s Intelligence Service (INIS).

Other Shia militia and political leaders also vociferously opposed Kadhimi’s nomination and yet last week his new government was installed with majority support in Iraq's parliament.

Kataib Hezbollah continued to threaten Kadhimi personally but other Shia political factions influenced by Iran allowed his nomination to go ahead.

Iraqi sources say that a behind-the-scenes deal between Washington and Tehran explains the sudden U-turn, with Iran agreeing to lean on the Shia factions it influences in return for some relief from economically crippling US sanctions with the unfreezing of some assets in Europe.

Iraqi sources declined to say where Iranian assets would be unfrozen, but pointed to a decision last month by a court in Luxembourg to block a US request to transfer $1.6bn in Iranian assets to victims of the 9/11 attacks in a case dating back to 2012.

The Iranian assets are held by a Luxembourg-based clearing house, Clearstream, owned by Deutsche Boerse. The court decision was hailed by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani who said the country had won a legal victory over the assets that had long been frozen in Luxembourg at Washington's request.

“The Americans managed to get their man, and the Iranians to get their money,” said one source with knowledge of the secret deal.

“The economic hardship that Iranians have faced, and all the difficulties they faced after the assassination of Qassem Soleimani, has hit them hard. There were negotiations. The deal ended with the Iranians accepting this guy [Kadhimi] and they told their allies to vote for him.”

In fact, what Iran has done is not merely for money. The Iranian government loyally follows the American plan in all its foreign policy interaction, including in Iraq. This requires it to control and direct its non-state actors according to American demands. Sometimes the Iranian government is successful in this and sometimes not. The need for the recent assassination of Qassem Soleimani is an example of the latter.

Muslims will never be successful unless they reject the foreign disbeliever and manage their affairs solely in accordance with the Islamic Shari’a. Allah (swt) says:

[يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ لاَ تَتَّخِذُواْ الْيَهُودَ وَالنَّصَارَى أَوْلِيَاء بَعْضُهُمْ أَوْلِيَاء بَعْضٍ وَمَن يَتَوَلَّهُم مِّنكُمْ فَإِنَّهُ مِنْهُمْ إِنَّ اللّهَ لاَ يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الظَّالِمِينَ]

“O you who have believed, do not take the Jews and the Christians as allies. They are [in fact] allies of one another. And whoever is an ally to them among you - then indeed, he is [one] of them. Indeed, Allah guides not the wrongdoing people.” [al-Maida: 51]

America Already Questioning Withdrawal from Afghanistan

According to an Associated Press report:

The United States is on track to meet its commitment to the Taliban to withdraw several thousand troops from Afghanistan by mid-July, even as violence flares, the peace process is stalled, and Kabul struggles in political deadlock.

US officials say they will reduce to 8,600 troops by July 15 and abandon five bases. By the second quarter of 2021, all foreign forces are supposed to withdraw, ending the US's longest war. Yet the outlook for peace is cloudy at best. In the absence of Afghan peace talks, the administration of US President Donald Trump may face the prospect of fully withdrawing even as the Taliban remains at war with the government.

That has concerned some lawmakers, including Representative Liz Cheney, a Republican and member of the House Armed Services Committee.

She says the US needs to keep a military and intelligence presence in Afghanistan to prevent groups like al-Qaeda and the ISIL's Afghan affiliate from forming havens from which to attack the US

"Withdrawing US troops from Afghanistan won't end the war - it will just let the terrorists win," she told The Associated Press.

The Americans indeed intend to reduce their forces to the number of 8,600 by July 15. This is because America has no interest in taking responsibility for Afghan security. The Americans came to Afghanistan not to give but to take. They came for Afghanistan’s unique strategic location and mountainous natural fortifications. They came to establish American bases that could multiply American military power and strategic projection. Therefore, the Americans most certainly wish to extract themselves from security duties and have the Afghanis manage their own affairs, on condition that they commit to allowing the American bases to remain. This is why America’s second stated commitment, to withdraw all forces by 2021 must be denounced as a falsehood. This date has been purposely selected by Trump to take place after the presidential elections this year. Trump will be able to tell the American public that he is honouring his commitment to them to withdraw from Afghanistan, while his actual purpose is to betray them on this as soon as he is re-elected.

Trump’s Miscalculation Results in Saudi Oil Armada Arriving in US Amid Oil Price Crash

In his desperation for cheap oil during his re-election year, it is evident that it is US President Donald Trump that has been forcing the Saudi regime to despatch as much oil as is possible into America. During the oil price war in March, the Saudi’s commissioned huge oil tankers to convey about seven times the normal monthly supply to America, with this armada just arriving now. This has now backfired badly with the coronavirus lockdown and the massive oversupply of oil that is destroying America’s indigenous oil industry. According to Bloomberg:

An armada of tankers filled with Saudi Arabian crude steaming toward the U.S. threatens to prevent America’s oil glut from draining, which is only just beginning.

Over 30 ships are set to arrive on the U.S. Gulf Coast and West Coast during May and June, according to ship tracking data compiled by Bloomberg. The more-than 50 million barrels of Saudi crude on the water threaten to upend a positive supply development: U.S. crude stockpiles declined for the first time since January and inventories at the Cushing, Oklahoma storage hub contracted by the most in months.

The U.S. is facing a tsunami of Saudi oil -- the lingering effect of a price war between Riyadh and Russia back in March -- that led the Middle East nation to slash pricing of its grades to multi-year lows and flood the market. The wave of supply occurred even as the Covid-19 pandemic was beginning to rapidly weigh on petroleum demand. A fifth of global consumption is still seen disappearing this quarter alone.

The only one more foolish than Donald Trump is the Saudi king Salman and his son Mohammad bin Salman who have been dramatically increasing and decreasing Saudi supply at great local cost only to serve the wishes of their foreign disbelieving imperialist master. With Allah’s permission, the Muslim Ummah shall soon throw aside these agents and re-establish the Islamic Khilafah (Caliphate) State on the method of the Prophet (saw) that shall repossess the wealth and resources of the Ummah for the benefit of Muslims and their Deen.

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